Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC
Competition: AFC Champions League
Date: 21 February 2018
Kick-off: 13:00 CET
Drawing away from home is usually a welcome result, if “away from home” is in Japan then the draw feels even more valuable, but given how Shanghai Shenhua’s game went at Kashima Antlers last week, I wouldn’t blame them for feeling that they missed a great opportunity to leave Japan with all three points. They took the lead less than three minutes into the match, thanks to a Giovanni Moreno header. They kept the lead rather comfortably until early in the second half, when Kashima equalised. Truth is, the hosts had two good chances after the 80th minute to score again (Shenhua’s goalkeeper, Li Shuai, did an awesome job in both cases), but it was the Chinese side that came the closest to a second goal, 30 seconds before the end of added time, when a powerful shot hit the horizontal post. No game for them last weekend. Their first domestic match is in a few days, they are facing Guangzhou Evergrande in China’s Super Cup.
Comfortable wins, even triumphs, over Melbourne City, Wellington Phoenix, and Melbourne Victory, don’t make you a super-power, but still, Sydney FC were at an awesome place before hosting Suwon Bluewings last week, and they looked so indescribably poor that left their fans wondering if they were the same team they had enjoyed in the three previous (A-League) matches. Few chances created, lots of chances allowed to Suwon, and a 2-0 defeat that felt absolutely normal, given how the 90 minutes went. Key players like Adrian Mierzejewski were only physically present on the pitch, offering practically nothing. Sydney FC have a great record against Shanghai Shenhua, they are undefeated in four games, they have won both matches in China, but that was years ago. To get anything from this game, they will need to look very improved compared to last week. No game for them last weekend, thankfully, as the trip to Shanghai was long, and the importance of the game big.
Previous five matches:
Kashima Antlers vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-1
Viktoria Plzeň vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-5
Puskás vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-0
Luzern vs Shanghai Shenhua 1-1
Partick Thistle vs Shanghai Shenhua 2-1
Sydney FC vs Suwon Bluewings 0-2
Melbourne City vs Sydney FC 0-4
Sydney FC vs Wellington Phoenix 4-0
Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC 1-3
Sydney FC vs Central Coast Mariners 1-1
Shenhua’s next game is on Monday, at Guangzhou Evergrande (China Super Cup). Sydney are hosting Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday (A-League).
Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC: Head to head Stats
Shanghai Shenhua have hosted Sydney FC twice before, and they have lost both times, 2-1 in 2007, and 3-2 in 2011. Both were AFC Champions League group stage matches.
Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC: Prediction
Interestingly, Sydney FC are considered slight-slight favourites to win the game. Shanghai Shenhua don’t have the brightest foreigner stars, even their Chinese players are not the very best, but somehow they have created a very competitive group, and I will be surprised if they lose to Sydney FC.
Shanghai Shenhua vs Sydney FC: Betting Tips
Shenhua’s double chance is at 1.48, low, but kind of ok if you are looking for something around 1.50 to combine with another bet. “Both teams to score” is at 1.75, and I like it because I do expect Sydney to look improved compared to last week, score, but still concede. “Over 2.5 combined goals” pays 1.95, and is my main tip, suiting my 2-1 hunch.
More AFC Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Zob Ahan vs Lokomotiv Tashkent
- Al Wahda vs Al Duhail
- Al Gharafa vs Tractor Sazi
- Al Ahli vs Al Jazira
- Kashiwa Reysol vs Tianjin Quanjian
- Ulsan Hyundai vs Kawasaki Frontale
- Kitchee vs Jeonbuk Motors
- Shanghai SIPG vs Melbourne Victory
- Nasaf Qarshi vs Al Wasl
- Al Ain vs Al Rayyan
- Al Sadd vs Persepolis
- Esteghlal vs Al Hilal
- Cerezo Osaka vs Guangzhou Evergrande
- Suwon Bluewings vs Kashima Antlers
- Buriram United vs Jeju United